The Cambridgeshire Constabulary wanted to replace an outdated Lotus Notes environment and transform how the organisation worked. In 2012, the constabulary used Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to explore how it could better help its employees discover information, share documents, and organise data. As a result, the constabulary expects to lower costs, increase collaboration, and enhance public safety.
The Cambridgeshire Constabulary provides law enforcement and public safety services in Cambridgeshire, England. The constabulary’s 1,100 constables deliver neighbourhood policing services for 800,000 Cambridgeshire residents. In response to a national government spending review, the constabulary will be required to trim £20 million from its budget by 2015. To help lower costs, it is evaluating new approaches to policing, such as working collaboratively and sharing operational data with neighbouring constabularies in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
For many years, the constabulary used Lotus Notes to develop in-house solutions that managed internal data, such as event orders, duty rosters, and other critical policing information. Cambridgeshire used Lotus Notes to manage databases of key criminal, public safety, and operational information, and according to government guidelines, it must maintain some databases for up to 25 years.
Over time, the Lotus Notes environment became expensive to maintain and difficult to interoperate with the constabulary’s updated IT infrastructure, which included Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft Lync 2010. Constables and other employees could only search one Lotus Notes database at a time, and they often had to open more than a dozen databases before finding the information they needed.
In April 2012, Cambridgeshire Constabulary began using SharePoint 2013 to develop an environment where employees can discover information, share documents, and manage data. It developed a collaboration and social media strategy that will include Internet, intranet, and extranet components; blogs; wiki sites; personal sites and team sites; and integration with social media channels.
In 2012 and 2013, Cambridgeshire will deploy up to 40 SharePoint 2013 portals and create collaboration environments for new Police and Crime Commissioners, Cambridgeshire Council, and Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire constabularies. The constabulary will use SharePoint 2013 to let business users enhance and maintain their own portals and manage enterprise content without relying on the ICT team. Constabulary employees will be able to synchronise documents stored on their personal sites offline by using SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013.
Constables and other employees can use the search functionality in SharePoint 2013 to look for information and get consolidated results from the entire Cambridgeshire environment with a single query. While the constabulary still uses Lotus Notes, employees can use a SharePoint 2013 connector to crawl and return data from any Lotus Notes database with just one search.
In October 2012, the Cambridgeshire ICT team began migrating data from its Lotus Notes programs to new applications it had built using SharePoint 2013. The team expects to shut down most of the Lotus Notes environment by March 31, 2013. By November 2013, Cambridgeshire expects to deploy SharePoint 2013 to 2,400 internal employees and enable access to almost 10,000 users at Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
By adopting SharePoint 2013, Cambridgeshire Constabulary expects to lower its costs, increase collaboration, and enhance its ability to serve the public.
- Reduced Costs
With a single point of entry into its information environment, Cambridgeshire can provide more services with fewer resources, while constables and other employees can be more productive. The constabulary will also reduce the maintenance costs that have been associated with its Lotus Notes programs. “Replacing our Lotus Notes environment with SharePoint 2013 will make our police and business staff more efficient, reduce our IT management burden, and lower our IT costs,” says Ian Bell, Head of ICT at Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
- Greater Collaboration
As Cambridgeshire deploys SharePoint 2013 portals, collaboration environments, and social media tools, it can deliver better access to information and intelligence, create efficiencies, avoid duplication of effort, and support more effective collaboration inside the constabulary and with other organisations and jurisdictions. “With SharePoint 2013, we can input information in one place and then deliver that information to anyone in the organisation, anytime, anywhere,” says Bell. “People can work together to collect intelligence, complete investigations quickly, and provide effective public services.”
- More Effective Organisation
The Constabulary will use SharePoint 2013 to create new ways for people to work together and find information within and across organisation boundaries. As it adds SharePoint 2013 newsfeeds, blogs, and other features to its current email and instant messaging solutions, Cambridgeshire will enhance its existing communication infrastructure and its ability to work closely with other constabularies. By developing social computing features, such as a chief constable’s blog and an e-newsletter with crime mapping, the constabulary can strengthen its relationship with the community. “In the next 12 months, we will create dramatic change for the Cambridgeshire Constabulary,” says Silvester. “Our Chief Constable, Simon Parr, sees SharePoint 2013 as a key element of everything we do internally to work with other agencies, increase public engagement, and enhance public safety.”
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